JetSmarter

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JetSmarter Inc.
Private
IndustryTransportation, aviation, technology
FoundedNovember 2012
FounderSergey Petrossov
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Sergey Petrossov (CEO)
ServicesMobile application, flight sharing, aircraft for hire
Websitejetsmarter.com

JetSmarter is a mobile community for shared and private flights. The company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States.[1] Using proprietary mobile algorithms, the JetSmarter app connects fliers to more than 3,000 aircraft and existing routes across three continents—the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.[2][3] Plus, app users have the ability to create flights almost anywhere on the globe and share them with other members or book all the seats to make it private.

Launched in 2013, the app saw more than 300,000 downloads by 2014.[4] Membership starts at $4,950 annually, and according to the company, all app users get access to seats on existing flights across the globe as well as the ability to create shared and private flights on-demand. The app uses data science, advanced mobile technology, and a community-oriented approach to connect leaders in business, sports, entertainment, and culture with socially powered travel. JetSmarter lets travelers reserve seats on existing flights, create on-demand shared and private flights to anywhere on the planet, and book seats on last-minute empty-leg deals. Members enjoy luxury lifestyle benefits and networking with like-minded travelers.

The last-minute empty-leg deals offer seats on private jets that would otherwise be traveling empty to pick up customers or return home. Through its app, JetSmarter connects app users to a network of 3,200 aircraft. The app has over 670,000 registered users.[5]

History[edit]

JetSmarter was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Sergey Petrossov,[6][7] whose idea made him one of Forbes' "30 Under 30" business leaders of 2016.[8][9] In August 2012, the beta version was launched and tested among a closed group of private aviation users. After testing proved successful, Petrossov sought and received substantial venture funding to expand JetSmarter's scope.[10] In March 2013, the JetSmarter app was launched and made available to the general public on both iOS and Android devices.[11]

In June 2015, JetSmarter announced its new European headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. In early 2016, it launched flights within Europe.[12][13] JetSmarter has offices in Zurich, London, Moscow, Dubai, Riyadh, and Fort Lauderdale.[14]

On February 16, 2017 the President of Jetsmarter, Edward Gennady Barsky, resigned after he was arrested at the Broward Financial Center, site of the company’s headquarters. He was charged with five counts of grand theft by embezzlement by authorities in Contra Costa, California.[15]

On September 5, 2018 a JetSmarter shared charter flight from Las Vegas to New York had to make an emergency landing in North Platte, Nebraska, after a passenger threatened other passengers and the crew. The flight eventually continued to New York.[16]

On April 10, 2019, Dubai-based Vista Global said it had made an agreement to acquire JetSmarter adding it to its aviation portfolio, which includes VistaJet and XOJET. Vista said it would maintain JetSmarter's office in Ft. Lauderdale where its digital team is based. [17]

On June 27, 2019, Vista Global announced it had combined JetSmarter with its XOJET subsidiary rebranding the combined entity as XO, powered by JetSmarter technology. [18]

Funding[edit]

According to Business Insider and TechCrunch, JetSmarter has raised $20 million from the Saudi Royal Family, American rapper Jay-Z, American serial entrepreneur and investor Wayne Chang,[19] and investment bank Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.[14][20][21]

In December 2016, JetSmarter announced it had raised an additional $105 million at a $1.6 billion valuation. The company said this will fuel international expansion and add at least 80 more routes to its existing 50 routes.[22][23][24]

In August 2017, JetSmarter said it raised an undisclosed amount of institutional capital from Clearlake Capital Group, LP, Leucadia National Corporation and existing investors. It said it would use the money to expand services, including routes and flight frequency.[25]

Services[edit]

JetSmarter flight services include a mix of shared and private flights:

  • Seats on existing jetpooling flights starting around the same price as commercial.[26] However, many flights are priced two to four times higher than commercial airlines.[27]
  • On-demand shared flights sometimes can be purchased for less than the cost of traditional charters; fliers specify how many seats they need, and then earn flight credit by allowing JetSmarter to sell empty seats to other fliers.[26] However, unlike the typical on-demand charter, buyers can't cancel or change flight times and in some cases the shared charter prices are more or similar to a traditional charter where one has the entire aircraft, according to an analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons.[27]
  • On-demand private flights backed by a low-price guarantee
  • Helicopter transfers in select cities, which are now on a paid basis
  • Empty-leg flight deals, or repositioning flights. The JetSmarter app allows passengers to search for and set up alerts for empty leg flights leaving their chosen cities.[28]

JetSmarter has 3,000 private jets and 2,000 free empty legs per month.[29] In January 2016, Chicago Tribune reported JetSmarter launched app-based private charter service in Chicago, using Midway International Airport as its access point.[30] Adding to its services, the company offers helicopter transfers in select cities. The fastest growing profession of JetSmarter customers is Self-Employed individuals (56%), including personal trainers, fashion stylists, designers, chefs, image consultants and event planners. That fact is supported by the apps reviews and customer assessment.[31]

  • Membership – $4,950/year membership fee offering unlimited ability to book seats on existing flights as well as create shared or private flights across the globe [32]

In May 2018, JetSmarter announced it would have a fleet of 20 JetSmarter branded aircraft by the end of the year. The aircraft will be managed and operated by JetEdge, a Part 135 operator. It also said it had eliminated free shuttles and for new members, it had eliminated free flights under three hours. The company also said it was providing integration via SAP Concur to attract more corporate travel business.[33]

In June 2018, JetSmarter announced for the first time it would allow non-members to book seats on its scheduled private jet flights as well as start shared flights. It also said flight starters can now sell seats they can't use on shared charters to non-members via a function on the JetSmarter app.[34]

Partnership[edit]

JetSmarter partners with various air carriers that span the range of the private charter industry.[35][36] Partnerships include Pernod Ricard,[37] Vertis Aviation,[38] and SportStar Relocation.[39] All of these partnerships lead the service aspect of JetSmarter where the company looks to utilize its travel offerings for different markets. The company has also partnered with Jet Edge and Air Hamburg to cater to its global community of private jet fliers.[40]

Corporate affairs[edit]

In 2017, The Verge reported that management of JetSmarter offered free flights to its reporters if an article was posted within five days of the flight.[41] According to the reporter if the story did not appear within that timeline, the reporter's credit card would be charged $2,000.[42]

In August 2018, a Los Angeles-based former member of JetSmarter filed a lawsuit seeking at least $2 million in damages from JetSmarter after the company refused to renew his membership. He alleged misleading advertising on social media from Kim Kardashian and Petra Nemcova as well as deceptive sales tactics.[43] In the same month, JetSmarter agreed to an undisclosed settlement after a New Jersey coupled filed a lawsuit alleging deceptive sales tactics. Their lawsuit included a text message from a JetSmarter sales representative promising free flights they allege were never provided.[44]

In January 2019, CNBC aired an investigative report on JetSmarter, titled "Tailspin". JetSmarter tried to be the Uber of private jets, now it faces lawsuits, losses and security questions. The business news channel also published a letter from JetSmarter's general counsel attempting to quash its investigation. The report includes a video of a JetSmarter flight that was diverted by a passenger making terroristic threats.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jetsmarter: The Uber of Air Travel". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  2. ^ "Steep Fees and First-Class Prices, but Private Jets Are Available to More". The New York Times. February 16, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  3. ^ Camila Souza. "JetSmarter Is Uber for Affordable Private Jets". Tech Cocktail. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "The JetSmarter App Puts Air Travel at Your Fingertips". Forbes. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  5. ^ "South Florida's flourishing private jet market attracts new entrants". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  6. ^ Thomas, Aby Sam (March 1, 2015). "Sergey Petrossov's Sky-High Ambitions". Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Entrepreneur.
  7. ^ Mikhail Starodubov. "Fancy a quick getaway? Just hail a private jet". News24. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Bertoni, Steven (January 24, 2016). "Forbes 30 under 30 2016". Forbes.
  9. ^ Hussain, Jawad (November 9, 2015). "Interview: How Sergey Petrossov revolutionized private jet business". Arabian Gazette.
  10. ^ Rachel Hennessey (October 31, 2014). "The JetSmarter App Puts Air Travel at Your Fingertips". Forbes. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  11. ^ "JetSmarter app will hail a private jet from anywhere in the world". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  12. ^ Davidson, Lauren (March 22, 2016). "'Uber for private jets' launches on-demand service between London and Europe". Telegraph Media Group Limited. Daily Telegraph.
  13. ^ Jan Kamps, Haje (March 23, 2016). "JetSmarter puts a jet in your pocket, and is happy to see you". AOL Inc. Techcrunch.
  14. ^ a b Kamps, Haje Jan (March 23, 2016). "JetSmarter puts a jet in your pocket, and is happy to see you". AOL. TechCrunch.
  15. ^ "Ex-JetSmarter president arrested". miamiherald.com.
  16. ^ https://privatejetcardcomparisons.com/2018/09/08/jetsmarter-flight-diverted-after-threats-from-a-passenger/ Private Jet Card Comparisons
  17. ^ https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article229059544.html Miami Herald
  18. ^ Private Jet Card Comparisons June 27, 2019
  19. ^ "Meet the private-jet startup backed by Jay Z and the Saudi royal family". Business Insider. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  20. ^ "An 'Uber for private jets' startup just raised $20 million from Jay Z and the Saudi Royal Family". Business Insider. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "With $20M In The Bank, JetSmarter Is Building The Uber Of The Skies". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  22. ^ Bensinger, Greg (December 12, 2016). "Private-Jet Booking App Lands $105 Million in Funding". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  23. ^ "JetSmarter Raises $105 Million for Uber-Like Services in the Sky". Bloomberg.com. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  24. ^ "Jay Z-backed private jet firm JetSmarter raises $105 million at $1.5 billion valuation". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  25. ^ Gollan, Doug (August 10, 2017). "Jet Membership Seller JetSmarter Raises An Undisclosed Amount Of Institutional Capital – Private Jet Card Comparisons – Know Before You Buy". Privatejetcardcomparisons.com. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  26. ^ a b "JetShuttle of JetSmarter". JetSmarter. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  27. ^ a b Gollan, Doug (September 12, 2018). "Lawsuits, layoffs, safety concerns, and now lack of flights cloud JetSmarter's future". Private Jet Card Comparisons - Know Before You Buy. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "Need a Private Jet in a Pinch? Try This App". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  29. ^ "Empty Leg Flights Make Private Jet Travel More Affordable". LuxuryEscapes.com. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  30. ^ "JetSmarter brings app-based private charter service in Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  31. ^ "These Two Aviation Companies Are Redefining Private Jet Travel". Forbes. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  32. ^ "JetSmarter Membership: The 'Uber For Private Jets". The Odyssey Online. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  33. ^ Gollan, Doug (May 10, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: JetSmarter's evolution is bringing branded airplanes, aircraft management, new single seat, empty leg and charter pricing, plus a new COO". Private Jet Card Comparisons - Know Before You Buy. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  34. ^ Gollan, Doug (June 12, 2018). "Exclusive: JetSmarter to launch non-member options and a jet card program". Private Jet Card Comparisons - Know Before You Buy. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  35. ^ Vicky Karantzavelou. "JetSmarter partners with GlobeAir enabling international expansion". TravelDailyNews. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  36. ^ Marcia Heroux. "Charter a flight with the tap of an app". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  37. ^ Ricard, Pernod. "Pernod Ricard and JetSmarter Announce One-Of-A-Kind Partnership". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  38. ^ "Vertis Inks ME Partnership with JetSmarter". Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  39. ^ "SportStar Relocation Announces Partnership with JetSmarter". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  40. ^ "The Fastest-Growing Private Jet Company In The World". Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  41. ^ Sottek, T.C. (March 3, 2017). "JetSmarter Tries to Extort Journalists for Positive Coverage". The Verge. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  42. ^ "This Startup Made Journalists Agree To Write Positive Reviews Or Pay Them $2,000". Jalopnik. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  43. ^ Gollan, Doug (August 9, 2018). "Kim Kardashian and Petra Nemcova are part of a new $2 million lawsuit against JetSmarter". Private Jet Card Comparisons - Know Before You Buy. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  44. ^ "UPDATED (Second Update): JetSmarter lawsuit referred to arbitration. What's next?". Private Jet Card Comparisons - Know Before You Buy. August 9, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  45. ^ Wu, Robert Frank, Scott Zamost, Hannah Kliot, Jasmine (January 10, 2019). "JetSmarter faces lawsuits, losses and security questions". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved April 14, 2019.

External links[edit]